Although most of last week was spent sorting out files and folders, I did manage to do quite a bit of new research as well. This is just what I needed, starting the transition from organising to researching.
Hopefully next week will see the bulk of my organising done. Of course it will never be completely done, as new material will be turning up all the time in need of processing and filing, but at least I have everything in place and a system that should make it easier in future to know where to filing things, and where to find them when I need them.
Most of the research was about the branch of BATEMAN family that grew up in Australia. The pursuit of the descendants of my 2x great-uncle William Joseph Henry BATEMAN is something I will be taking on in the forthcoming weeks. As part of this I want to try and write some posts about what I already know about the family.
In terms of organising, the GASSON surname folder is virtually sorted and that only leaves the GEERING folder to go. It is my intention to get both of those folders completed this week, and by the following week I want to have gone through all the surname folders and make sure everything is as it should be and I will produce a template that will enable me at a glance to see where new information fits into the system.
The amount of new BATEMAN research meant I didn’t get chance to start going through my database and start defining some goals, I would like to try and start that this week, although I don’t expect to complete it. I do however need to decide which projects I am going to be working on next.
One of those projects might involve the WRIGHT/SHORNDEN family of Alton, Hampshire. Having visited Alton last weekend I would like to find out more about their time in Alton. One long term goal is to find out how they came to be in Hampshire in the first place, when they were previously in Kent.
Last week was a bad week for new research, but it was quite a good week for organising. I am pleased to say that I achieved pretty much what I set out to do with regard to sorting out my digital files and folders.
I am just putting the finishing touches to sorting out the BATEMAN surname folder, and that just leaves me with the two big ones, GEERING and GASSON. At the moment the GEERINGs are going to be the next major project, really an ongoing project, so I think this week I will focus on getting the GASSON surname folder sorted and then work on the GEERING surname folder in the following week, as I start to get back into researching the Hailsham branch of the GEERING family.
There are two other things I would like to try and do this week. Firstly, it is almost half-way through the year, so it is about time I went back and revisited some of the to-do items that I set myself at the end of last year. I need to make sure I am on track to get those completed.
Secondly, I need to start going through my newly organised surname folders in parallel with my Family Historian software and start defining some goals to take my research forward. Some will be very specific, such as finding a particular baptism record, whilst some will be quite general, such as finding out what happened to the siblings of a particular ancestor.
I’ve changed the title of this regular weekly post to reflect the fact that it is largely about what I have been doing (or failing to do) in my own personal genealogy.
Last week was devoted almost entirely to organising the files and folders on my hard drive. I had hoped to get all my folders sorted out by the end of May, but I am some way short of that, although not too far off. I have another eight folders to sort through, out of a total of 75 surnames.
I have transcribed the will of Thomas PIERCEY, but that was really just about the only other new bit of work I did that wasn’t related to sorting out folders. I have added several new relations to my family tree in the process of going through my folders, and some of that involved looking up new details.
I am really missing doing any proper new research, all this organising is taking it’s toll on me and I now just want to get it out of the way and start moving on to new ground. I might start a few bits of proper research this week, but really I need to get things organised to finish off the GEERINGs of Hailsham, before I get too carried away with new avenues of research.
This week I am going to get all the folders sorted apart from the GEERING and GASSON ones (which will be left for the following week). Also I will get together a plan for East Sussex Record Office (where I still haven’t booked a seat yet or ordered documents yet) and contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (which I still haven’t done either) in preparation for starting back on the GEERINGs again.
Last week was an interesting week, I devoted much time going through my digital files, and have made very good progress in getting them sorted. I am now left with 20 surname folders left to sort out. The problem is that these 20 folders are the biggest and most disorganised folders.
I didn’t get any work done in relation to the GEERING family. I fear I am losing momentum on this particular project, so this week I really must get things moving again.
I spent too much time last week looking at websites on trig points and benchmarks. At least I thought it was far too much time, but it was interesting and enjoyable, and I think I might have a new project coming out of it, so in retrospect it probably wasn’t too much time.
By the end of the week I felt I needed to get out and do some proper research, so I took a visit to the West Sussex Record Office to try and tie up some loose ends. Now I have a pile of papers to sort out as well as my digital files.
- Sort out and capture all the information collected at the West Sussex Record Office, and update my to-do list.
- I still need to contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about my GEERINGs to see if they might have some records for my research.
- Book a seat at the East Sussex Record Office and order the documents I need to view for my GEERING research.
- I am going to tackle ten folders this week, eight of the smaller ones, the TROWER folder, and the GEERING folder (that should help me focus back on where my GEERING research is going).
I have decided that this month (May) I am going to get the family history folder on my hard drive organised. This won’t be at the expense of any new research, and if anything it will encourage more research as I try and tie up loose ends.
It doesn’t really require a huge amount of resources, just a bit of time and discipline. It will mainly involve renaming files (standardising) and updating Family Historian.
Most of my family history folders don’t contain a lot of files, they mainly have census images and other documents. They also contain what I would call scraps. These are small text files that I have used to quickly capture information that I have come across as I go about my research.
For example, whilst I might have been looking for a baptism record for an ancestor, I would probably encounter baptisms for their siblings as well. In my rush to continue tracing my ancestor I would just make a quick note of these other records and move on. Now it is time to make sure I have updated all these records in Family Historian and then delete these scraps.
I have under eighty folders now and most of these need very little work. The problem comes with some of the larger folders like the GASSONs, the TROWERs, the GEERINGs and the KINGHORNs. My plan is to get the smaller folders out of the way this week and then start tackling the larger ones the following week.
The other aspect I need to work on is my digital photos. All the photos I have taken are stored separately from my family history, and those that are related to family history are copied to the family history folder. This includes anything that might be used to illustrate my family history (such as churches, houses and streets) or is a piece of evidence itself (like gravestones).
I have four weeks to sort out my hard drive and if I actually stick to my plans I should be able to complete it in that time. Like getting rid of my paper folders, it will be good to sort out these files and have a system in place for dealing with information as I go along.